Anchor Small Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

BA SCORE
73
okay
451 Ratings
THE BROS
70
okay
Read the review
Anchor Small BeerAnchor Small Beer
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States
anchorbrewing.com

Style: English Bitter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 3.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
"We believe you will find Anchor Small Beer delicious--similar to what modern brewers call a "bitter"--and we hope you will also enjoy the idea of reviving an ancient brewing tradition, which is something of great importance. "

"We make our Old Foghorn Barleywine Style Ale from the rich first runnings of an all-malt mash, and Anchor Small Beer is our attempt to duplicate the "small beers" of old by sparging that same mash: sprinkling warm water over the Old Foghorn mash after the first wort has run off, thereby creating a second, lighter brew from the resulting thinner wort. "

Added by UnionMade on 11-11-2000

BEER STATS
Ratings:
451
Reviews:
327
Avg:
3.12
pDev:
17.31%
 
 
Wants:
21
Gots:
16
For Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 451 |  Reviews: 327
Photo of BeerKangaroo
3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

From the bomber and into a pint glass:

A: very light golden colored body yielding a one finger white foamy head that dies to a film after thirty seconds and then lasts for an extra minute. Despite the very light body, no carbonation is seen rising. Some light spider web lacing is seen speckling the sides of the glass.

S: sour graininess, nothing else is really noticed.

T: roasty/toasty, very dry and bitter

M: very light; dry, bland aftertaste. With the ABV where it is, this is an extremely sessionable beer.

O: despite the bittering being a bit more present than other English bitters and barely any malt present, I'd say this is a decent beer. For the style, its about right there. For me, I'm not sure if I would seek this out again, depends...but the price is definitely there.

 790 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.45/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

There's a place in the world for beer's that don't overwhelm the palate, that remain flavorful without weight, that are satisfying at low alcohol. Anchor shows a breadth of taste that can be achieved in lighter, session ales.

With its bright copper body and lively carbonation, the beer's first glance won't deviate from the common appearances of pale ales. But its understated head character starts to fall apart rather soon and results in a still appearance midway through the session. But with light carbonation and head character, the beer seems to lace with rings and specks nicely.

Fruity-sweet aromas cross the nose with moderate intensity and delivers grain sweetness of sorghum and thin molasses with dates, prunes, and fig fruit support. Herbal hops contribute tea-like and tobacco aromas particularly as the beer warms.

Grainy sweetness starts the flavor profile with the same sorghum and toffeeish notes found in the aroma. Weaving into the fruit esters of dried and pitted fruits, the combined effect gives a richer taste to start. Earthy hop flavors rise with a quick middle palate and take form of muddled tea leaves and freshly cut tobacco. Hops develop from the fruit and herb taste and toward a broad and earthen bitterness, similar to damp soil and tree bark.

Medium-light bodied early, but as the carbonation recedes, it takes with it the slim malty sweetness and leaves a mild grain-derived astringency to accompany hop bitterness. The beer seems to skip right to the finish to avoid a thin and watery mid palate.

The remnants from Old Foghorn leaves a shadow taste of its big brother but sheds its almost oily viscosity and alcohol complexities for refreshment and drinkability. The beer that emerges retains glimpses into the fruity esters and malt firmness that we've come to love about that barleywine.

 1,833 characters

Photo of beerpadawan
2.75/5  rDev -11.9%

Photo of Falcone
2.75/5  rDev -11.9%

Photo of harpus
3.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of KStark
3/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of imbibehour
3.8/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured on tap into a snifter glass.

A very lager like appearance, crystal clear and clean with a very pale amber gold, simple white collar presented with some pretty good lacing also.

Nose is toasty but also quite a bit grainy, nearly sour. However, it's arid and dry quality seems to make up for it.

Taste is quite toasty, with a huge toasty finish particularly on the palate. A real nice lingering hop bitterness too on the drink and dry matching a light and very crisp body.

Excellent session brew. Small beer with big taste indeed, can see myself enjoying many of these at a time if needed.

 598 characters

Photo of Nerudamann
3.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a stein glass.

Look – light amber color, a little hazy, with about half a finger’s worth of slightly frothy off-white colored foam that dissipates slowly.

Smell – not too strong of a smell. It has a general ale type of smell, but with a twisted type of grain..or at least what smells like one. It smells like there might be an alternative being used. Not sorghum, but something close to that.

Taste – very interesting taste. It still tastes like the smell, in that it tastes like there’s an alternative being used for the grain. It almost has an effervescent type of quality. Pretty bitter in the finish.

Mouthfeel – pretty well-balanced, but leans a little more toward the creamy side.

Overall – probably not going to be a favorite of mine, but interesting enough in the taste.

 824 characters

Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of shelby415
3/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of MathNut
3.75/5  rDev +20.2%

Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.68/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Anchor Small Beer has a very thick, fluffy, off-white head and a cloudy, bubbly amber appearance, with minimal lacing. The aroma is faint, but one can, with deep inhalation, pick up barley malt, caramel, tea, and sweetness. Taste is of bitterness across the sip, and one detects tea, light malt, and even some light lemony aspects. Mouthfeel is pretty watery, and Anchor Small Beer finishes mellow and dry. Overall, this is an interesting one to try. It’s unlike anything I’ve had before.

RJT

 498 characters

Photo of hanlonrn
3.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of lmdengis
2.75/5  rDev -11.9%

Photo of Stirling
3.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of hiphopj5
3.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Bung
3.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pint 6 oz. pretty clear gold pour. Finger of white head. Not much lacing to speak of but retained ok.

Aroma, some musty tea and herbal hops, miniscule malt note. A tad light here.

Taste, a tad light here as well, mostly herbal hop tea. Reminds. E very much of a German macro.

Light bodied, nice tingly carbonation. The ultimate session beer I suppose, good flavor for being such a "small" beer.

Calling this an English bitter probably isn't a fair categorization. Doubt I would bother with again, but I applaud the unique effort.

 534 characters

Photo of TenHornsProud
2.68/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear copper with a fine white head the lingers.

Smells of slightly toasted malt with a hint of roasted character and some earthy/herbal hop.

Up front astringent and thin character gives way into just the slightest malt/bread backbone before ending on a more astringent note. Surprisingly unpleasant flavor given the appearance and aroma.

Thin body and low carbonation works OK.

What an astringent beer! Not particularly pleasant.

 444 characters

Photo of czfreeman
3.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Anchor small.
From reading previous reviews I can understand the low reviews due to subdued flavor, however after having several conversations with the brewer at Social kitchen, where I am an assistant, he really has helped me to understand the versatility of English bitter.
Pours a light honey-amber tone, light lacing. Head dissipated quickly, medium carbonation.
Distinct grassy hops on the nose, nice maltiness in the back. Lemon, pepper, musty character as well.
Flavor light, biting and subdued.
Mouthfeel is light, spritz y and refreshing. A nice beer to begin the evening with or simply enjoy on a warm day.I have to say the local Magnolia brewery executes a much finer bitter, but this is a decent offering, and also a much better way to use the mash from Old Foghorn.

 778 characters

Photo of blakelive784
2.66/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

1 pt 6 fl oz brown glass bottle served in a pilsner glass, reviewed live:

A - Pours a nearly transparent orange/copper color with three fingers of surprisingly thick off-white head. Retention is solid, and the head leaves a fair amount of lacing.

S - Light cereal grains, sweet malts, and mild citric hops notes. Simple and mild, though somewhat appealing.

T - Simple malts and unrefined cereal grains lightly countered by bland hops. The hops are noticeably indistinct. Bland and boring. I understand this one's note supposed to be complex or a flavor powerhouse, but there really is nothing going on.

M - Thick, smooth,and wet. Not very supportive of the flavors. It's ok.

D - A definite disappointment from Anchor. I applaud the attempt at a "small" beer, though the final result is a failure.

 804 characters

Photo of demgoth
3.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of Dunkelhund
3.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of od_sf
3/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Ryan1423
4/5  rDev +28.2%

Photo of thatskinnytjkid
3/5  rDev -3.8%

Anchor Small Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
3.12 out of 5 based on 451 ratings.
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